A mix console maker from Cornwall became a DJ powerhouse in the 2000s, thanks in no small part to Richie Hawtin. Jordan Rothlein sat down with Andy Rigby-Jones, the mastermind behind the Xone series, to get the story on the DJ mixer that’s currently ruling the roost.
In the first two pieces in this series, we delved into the only two decks you’re likely to find in the booth: the Technics 1200 and Pioneer’s CDJ. Each has become something like an instrument for DJs, engendering a whole set of gestures and creative techniques for manipulating the music they’re playing back. The most musical thing DJs do—execute blends, either to keep the beat alive or create new sounds entirely—happens by way of a mixer. It’s the center of the booth, the thing DJs spend more time tweaking than any other part of their kit.
While there’s not much argument on the standards for vinyl and CD playback, settling on a mixer isn’t quite as easy. Over the course of the 2000s, though, a mixer by Cornwall, England-based console maker Allen & Heath called the Xone:92 began worming its way into more and more DJ booths. In some ways it was simpler than the competition, with all-analog circuitry and no onboard effects save a voltage control filter (VCF). In others, it broadened our expectations of what a DJ mixer should offer, packing four-band EQ, effects sends and MIDI into its hefty metal frame. In terms of its full feature set, it almost certainly offers most jocks a good deal more than they’d need—but that doesn’t make it an obvious crowd-pleaser like Pioneer’s DJM-800. While it’s obvious how something like the Technics 1200 became an industry standard, the Xone:92—an analog mixer built to accommodate a relatively specialized digital DJ setup—could seem like an oddball pick. Read the rest of the article HERE.